Growing your own fruits and veggies seems like an insanely difficult thing to do, you would love to do it but don’t even know where to start, and will it be worth the time and effort that goes into having one. It doesn’t matter if you have acres of land or only a small backyard, you can easily grow your very own vegetable garden, and it is totally worth your time and effort.
Here are some reasons why you should entertain the thought of starting a veggie garden:
- The foods that you will grow will have more nutrients and taste better than the ones you buy in your local grocery store. The vegetables you buy in the store may have traveled a long distance to get there and was probably picked just before it was completely ripe so it would survive the trip to the store and not go bad before it got there.
- Studies show that gardening reduces stress and is a pretty good workout all while getting fresh air and vitamin D from the sun.
- You will help the environment. If you grow your veggies without pesticides you will be doing your part to keep the air and water clean from pollution, you will have your very own organic garden, how eco-chic is that?
- It will help you and your family to eat more fruits and veggies since you can just walk out back and pick out your own side dishes, with all that fresh produce available anytime you are more likely to eat them more often which will greatly benefit your health.
- You will save $$. Think of all the money you will save on groceries, the cost of a packet of seeds can cost less than a dollar and you can get so many vegetables from that packet of seeds.
To get started on your new veggie garden you will want to pick the perfect spot for it. Choose a place where it will get full sun for 6-8 hours a day, and ideally the area should have well-drained soil.
You also need to decide whether you are going to plant directly in the ground or if you are going to have a raised bed garden. If your soil is not that great and you can never seem to grow anything in it, or if it has bad water drainage, a raised bed garden is a good idea. You can either make them yourself or you can buy them already made at your local nursery or Home Depot.
Raised bed gardens will keep your veggies neat and tidy and are better at keeping weeds away. If you are going to plant directly into the ground you will need to prepare the soil before you plant by breaking up the soil to about 6 inches down and using some compost or mulch to add to the soil.
Using fertilizer in the soil that is high in potassium and phosphates will help your vegetables grow better, eventually adding a nitrogen based fertilizer once the seeds are planted and are starting to grow will seal the deal. A good way to water your garden is a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose that is connected to your automatic timer.
If you are planting in the fall or winter these are some good seed choices for that time of the year; artichokes, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage, kale, lettuce, radish, peas, onions, and swiss chard. For the spring season plant beans, corn, tomatoes, cantaloupe, peppers, spinach, strawberries, eggplant, and cucumber.
Give vegetable gardening a try, it’s easier than you think and you can reap so many rewards from it. If you want to learn about composting, check out out post “What is Composting and Why You Should Do it.”
If you have tips or ideas about grown a vegetable garden in southern California, contact us and let us know.